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Machap Old Mosque

Historical Background:

Jailani Mendik Masap or Datuk Macap was a nobleman and a trader from Makassar, Indonesia who was involved in the trade business during the era of the Melaka Sultanate. Datuk Macap also aided the Sultan of Melaka when the Portuguese attacked in 1511, resulting in him and his followers being hunted. Datuk Macap, together with his injured son and followers escaped by navigating up the Melaka River.

Datuk Macap and his followers split into two factions. He first landed at an area named Pengkalan which is now called Kampung Pengkalan, Alor Gajah. He then navigated further upstream until his small boat (‘perahu’) was stranded at an area in Bukit Sedanan, where he established a village settlement. He also erected a wooden mosque which pillars were made from Nibong (a type of timber) for the villagers. This site remains to this day and the mosque and cemetery are well maintained by Haji Mohd Husin bin Mahmor, who is the eighth descendent of Datuk Macap.

Although the Old Machap Mosque is relatively small, it is unique in terms of its design. The original mosque built by Datuk Macap was made from wood. But in 1865, a Muslim Chinese missionary organized an effort to collect donations from the locals to build a new mosque. This building was then transformed into a mosque made of stones, tiles, and clay. A plaque was placed on the left of the mosque, commemorating the names and donations received that funded the works and repairs of the new mosque.

The existence of this plaque inscribed in Chinese lettering and paintings on the mosque’s walls made it even more unique as these techniques of decoration are unlike any other that you would find at typical Malay mosques, but could only be found in Chinese houses of worship. There are five old graves that are located by the mosque, including that of Datuk Macap which used megaliths as its tombstone. This cemetery is encircled by iron fences and roofed to deter superstitious acts. The graves and tombs found by the Old Machap Mosque is a clear display of the unique clash between two cultures and religions, where locals and foreigners came to Melaka to perform their religious activities due to their beliefs and confidence in Datuk Macap.

This mosque is no longer being utilized as the government transformed the surrounding area as a water catchment area for the state of Melaka in the 1960s. The local Chinese residents erected a Chinese-style archway in front of the mosque but has since submerged in water up to the ‘foot stones’ stairs used to ascend this mosque.

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Address

Makam Dato' Said
76100 Alor Gajah, Malacca

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